Initial thoughts of football players playing basketball can be likened to a Mack truck in a ballet. But, what if that Mack truck knew the precision, movement and refinement of routine and never seemed out of place?
When Greenville Christian Saints muscular five-foot eight sophomore forward Marlon Palmer, the Planters Bank Player of the Week, takes to the court, he becomes an integral part of a young talented core on long athletic teammates.
“Marlon is a huge part of our team and what we try to do,” said Greenville Christian head coach Logan Collins. “He’s smart, works hard and is one of those guys who does all of the little things right to help us win. He has a huge heart and gives us toughness in the games.”
During a practice on Martin Luther King Day, the only sounds that could be heard on the Greenville Christian campus were the squeaking of sneakers on the hard court and the swish of the ball going through the net. Palmer steps to the sideline to answer a couple of questions and right off said,
“Football is my favorite sport because of the contact and physical part of the game. But I also like the physical part of basketball-the defense, rebounding and setting screens.”
Back in the fall, Palmer ran through, over and around Hillcrest Academy defenders for more than 200 rushing yards on the football field. During the 2019-2020 basketball season, Palmer has solidified himself as the heart and soul of a trio of players who have Greenville Christian charted for a bright future. “
Marlon, Will Riley and Josiah Claiborne are all sophomores who have been playing high school basketball since they were in seventh grade. So, they are young and experienced at the same time,” Coach Collins said.
Palmer demonstrated a high basketball IQ on Monday as he played several positions while Collins ran the Saints through their offensive and defensive sets. Palmer also has a knack for timely scoring with a beautiful left-handed shooting stroke.
Hopefully, the Saints player who represents aggression in its most refined form is building a legacy that will have people talking about this two-sport athlete for years to come. “My favorite subject is history because I just like learning about the past in sports, politics and just everything,” Palmer said. “My older brother, Brandon Celestine is who I give credit to for introducing me to basketball.”